NEW YORK — Vanessa Williams may be best known for her acting and singing, but when it comes down to it, family comes first for the entertainer.

“Parenting is always my first priority,” said Williams last Thursday at New York’s Rainbow Room as she hosted the first Bravo Awards ceremony sponsored by Hanes. “And today is a celebration of the simple joys of parenting.”

Held just hours before the blackout began, the event honored six couples from around the country with a Bravo Award, which recognizes parents for outstanding commitments to their families and their communities.

“Parents are an inspiration for us every day,” said Gabriel Bottazzi, president of the Hanes sock division. “This is especially true now, in the back-to-school period.”

The people honored as a result of a national search were Michael and Mary Jo Jackson of Lancaster, Pa., who have 21 children, many of whom were adopted; Albert and Mitzuh Carrillo of Baldwin Park, Calif., who are both in law enforcement; and four other couples: Rick and Karey Chagnon of Albany, Ore.; Bill and Julie Erwin of Danville, Ky.; Rev. W.C. and Donna Martin of Center, Tex., and Virgus and Michelle Wood of Little Rock, Ark.

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